Certainty and stability for America’s Cup
Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton says the protocol for the next America’s Cup “is basically done” and they are on course to deliver it by the end of September. Dalton is in Europe working on plans for the 2021 defence in Auckland with Italian challenger of record Luna Rossa.
He’s also working on fundraising for the defence of the Auld Mug by Emirates Team New Jafter their stunning win in Bermuda in June. Dalton said he’s touched base with potential European challengers as he works on a two-pronged plan for the future.
“There’s a lot to do, it’s a big job. There are two facets now – the team and the event. It’s twice as big,” Dalton said. “The protocol is basically done. We are tweaking a few things, but they are only detail around dates and things like that. We are still committed to a protocol late in September.”
He said they were determined to make it a swift process, rather than the tweaking of rules and regulations for Bermuda that dragged on for a year following Oracle Team USA’s success in San Francisco in 2013. “We need to give certainty and stability to the teams,” Dalton emphasised.
There is huge anticipation about the class of boat to be used, with the multihull versus monohull debate in full noise, and also the competition structure.
Team New Zealand and Luna Rossa have already signalled a return to more of the traditions of the Cup and Dalton reiterated the desire for a nationality clause around crews and a country of origin for the boats.
“People will see a more respectful … of the Deed of Gift as the founding document of the whole thing. In recent years it has gone away a lot from the principles of the Deed of Gift, so we are returning more to that.”
Dalton suggested the structure of the 36th America’s Cup regatta would be “more in line to when New Zealand last had it”.
He felt adding a nationality feel was important. “I think it’s better when a nation is fighting another nation,” Dalton said, citing Australia’s breakthrough success against the United States in 1983.
He hopes an Australian syndicate will return to the scene in Auckland. “There is certainly an ability for one,” he said of the Australian talent that, like New Zealanders, has dominated rival teams in recent Cups.
Dalton said he was making early progress on his fundraising drive to back his syndicate’s defence. “It’s moving in the right direction because we are already in the Cup and that makes every conversation a little easier,” he said, referring to the financial struggles that enveloped the Bermuda campaign as uncertainty over Team New Zealand’s involvement dragged on.
Team New Zealand were actively involved in planning for the substantial infrastructure that would be required in Auckland to host the event and said there had been “constructive conversations” with both Auckland City and the government. “It is a big thing to put on and it’s going to be great for Auckland,” Dalton said.
Article by Duncan Johnstone, Stuff, published by US Scuttlebutt
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